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AC Help 2 cars 1996 & 2000 camaro

carma on Wed April 06, 2011 9:18 PM User is offline

Year: 1996
Make: camaro
Model: coupe
Engine Size: v6

Hi, I have 2 camaros a 1996 v6 coupe and a 2000 v8 ss convertible. Both have ac problems. The 96 is a major mystery. We've had it recharged and taken it to several shops over a 6 year period. We usually have it recharged a couple times each summer and both times the ac only works for a few days. Or 2-3 weeks and then it goes out. The 96 belongs to my daughter and I've never heard or seen exactly what the car does when the ac fails but she explains it to me like this. We have it working fully, cold, blowing strongly and it seems to be working like a new car and then all of a sudden you will hear a loud noise like it just blew all the freon or blew up. The air then goes warm and will not do anything but blow hot air so once again we take it to the shop and explain all this to them , they recharge it and we go on our way again for a few days and the same cycle happens all over again. We've had several different people recharge it and we've even had a (couple) of new compressors put on it along with all new parts about 2 seasons ago. And it's still doing the same thing. So we've spent a boat load of money changing new ac parts and it's still blowing up. It functions great and then all of a sudden the loud sound will come out of nowhere like everything just blew out of it and it's dead. Can anyone help ??? Very frustrated here in hot, dry, flat boring Ks. It's like a desert here in the summer months and it's really horrible to watch my kids and grand children sweat it out when we've spent thousands fixing this over and over again and it's not ever being resolved. Next I have the 2000 ss v8, It has always run cold and the fan seems to be working good. If I can remember correctly i think it had been replaced not very long ago. But the ac keeps blowing the fuses. The fuse started blowing out on a monthly basis, then went to weekly now daily (sometimes 2 or 3 a day) I basically have to change the fuse everyday I want to drive the car in the summer months. I've also noticed the cruise control has quit as well. It was working great and when I'd replace the small fuse it would work fine then it just quit alltogether. I've replaced the smaller fuse if memory serves me correctly it was a 15 amp fuse and one of the black relay fuses (about a $16 part) and it seemed to help keep the smaller fuse from blowing as quickly but hasn't fixed the problem. The air is nice and cold when it's on and the fan seems to be strong but the fuse blows again and again and I've also come to notice that when I try to roll the window down it will sometimes blow the ac fuse as well. My window motor is dragging and when I use it together with the ac the fuse will blow right away, I'm guessing it may be to much for the electrical system . But I have had the window motor changed before and the ac fuse still blows so not sure what's going on. The fan seems to be working good for the heater as well. The cruise control isn't working at all and of course the ac still won't work unless I change the fuse.. Really need help with these and feel it's probably an easy fix but have spent thousands over the years and have explained to many guys that these things keep happening on the 96 and all they seem to do is recharge the system and it works good for a while then goes out. The 2000 I keep changing the fuses but it's not solving the problem. the guys at the shops either don't know what they're doing or are not listening when I tell them this is something we're dealing with every summer, not just once in a while, (every summer all summer) over and over again.. Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)
Very baffled that one of these guys haven't figured this out for us yet? And I"ve come to the conclusion they don't know what their doing or just aren't listening or just don't care. I'm beginning to think they just want me to keep coming back. So have basically given up and watch my kids and small grandchildren sweat it out all summer. Very hard to watch the kids sweat it out when you've spent so much time without the car when in the shop and money to fix something that should be fairly easy to fix. I pray one of you can help. Oh , I don't usually work on cars but am starting to believe I may have to learn , can't find anyone that can take care of this for me. I believe these both use the R134. Thank you D.

mk378 on Thu April 07, 2011 12:43 AM User is offline

On the first car it sounds like it is popping the relief valve. This should not normally happen because first of all the pressure should not rise that high and secondly there should be a switch to cut the compressor off if it does, at a pressure before the valve pops. The main reason for the pressure to rise to abnormal levels is failure of the fan on the condenser. Once a relief valve has popped it may not always close fully and it may also re-open prematurely.

After several incidences of popping the valve, combined with compressor replacements, it is impossible to know how much oil is really in your system. It would be best to disassemble and flush out the parts then start again with a known proper charge of oil and refrigerant.

Blowing the compressor fuse could be a wire touching ground once in a while or a partly shorted compressor clutch coil. Inspect all wiring thoroughly. Unplug the coil and measure its resistance with an ohmmeter. It should be 3 to 4 ohms. If less than 3 ohms, replace. Also if the fuse is running any fan motors, if the bearings get sticky or seize entirely that will typically blow the fuse.

GM Tech on Thu April 07, 2011 9:18 AM User is offline

On the 1996, it's pretty obvious from here that you have an intermittent restriction after compressor and prior to pressure sensor- most likely a "floater" piece of debris internal- to muffler or rear head of compressor. In either case it will take someone who wants to help you find it- they must go inside compressor, or inside hoses to be satisfied they have fixed the issue. Those that keep recharging and letting you go, are only part changers, not need someone who understands a/c systems.

The second one should be very easy to find the short- your advantage is that is does it often, tracing wires and simple ohm checks you find it in under 30 minutes....I'd love to see it, haven't had a fun one lately. Again, you need someone smarter than the car to figure this obviously have been dealing with know-nothings....

The number one A/C diagnostic tool there is- is to know how much refrigerant is in the system- this can only be done by recovering and weighing the refrigerant!!
Just a thought.... 65% of A/C failures in my 3200 car diagnostic database (GM vehicles) are due to loss of refrigerant due to a leak......

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